The business of dressmaking.

Spettel 1900-1946


The Spettel family moved from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1887 after a disagreement between their father, Michael Spettel, and his employer, John Lawler over the rights to the design of a pontoon bridge to facilitate rail travel across the Mississippi River.

The five Spettel sisters supported their parents with the business of dressmaking until their parents died in 1914 and 1915. From 1892 to 1900 the sisters operated as independent dressmakers or worked for some of the more prominent dressmakers in St. Paul. Gertrude and Rose both worked for Mrs. George F. Hall, Celia worked for K. Kiernan and Mary and Frances worked for Mrs. E. M. Cole. From 1900 to 1946 the Spettel Sisters operated under their own name. At first Frances, Gertrude and Celia share the business, but by 1924, just Frances and Gertrude operate under the Spettel name.

In spite of their many years in business, only two dresses in the MNHS collection were made by them. Their client was Rebecca Blair Flandrau of St. Paul, Minnesota. Note that their label uses an alternate spelling of "Spettel."

For more about the Spettel family, see Friends, old neighbors, & citizens of Prairie du Chien by George F. Spettel

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